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These days newspapers and the internet are filled with news of teenage depression which leads to suicide attempts. Just recently I came across a news of a class 12 student who committed suicide by hanging herself and the reason for the suicide was loneliness and depression. Children now-a-days accept defeat very fast and start feeling as if life has come to a dead end and the best way is to get rid of their life. What I fail to understand is that, do these children think about their parents and loved ones even once before taking such a stern step? Why do some children end their lives at such an early age without knowing what life has in store for them in the future? What leads them to take such steps?
Any news of teenage depression or suicide disturbs me a lot and I am sure most of you must have felt the same way, so I decided to do some research on the topic and came across some important facts which helped me to understand the problem and I also read about ways to treat the same.
Childhood and teen depression is a reality. Twenty years ago depression in children was almost unknown. Now the fastest rate of increase in depression is among young people. Depression is caused by changes in society where basic needs for companionship, healthy goals, responsibility, connection to others and meaning are not automatically met. Children, adolescents and teens are fed to a constant diet of images showing how we are meant to look, sound and be.
Some symptoms of teenage depression are:
- a downward trend in performance at school or college.
- change in personal hygiene and appearance.
- destructive and/or defiant behavior.
- hallucinations or unusual beliefs.
- appetite or weight has changed considerably.
- may appear restless or agitated.
- has lost a lot of energy, complains of feeling tired all the time.
- complaints of feeling guilty or worthless.
- belief that life is not worth living.
A teenager feels that the simplest way to get rid of this loneliness and depression is to commit suicide. People usually kill themselves to escape what they see to be an intolerable and inescapable situation. Studies have shown that suicide amongst teenagers and young adults has increased 3 times since 1970. 90% of suicide among teenagers had a diagnosable mental illness, depression being the most common.
Now the question is - What is the best way to treat depression? The first and most important point according to me should be love from friends and family. The teenager in question should feel extremely loved. Give him/her unconditional affection and warmth and communicate with him so as to understand what is bothering him. Many problems can be solved through communication. It is very easy for young children to feel lonely and depressed at this age but it is the duty of the teenagers family and friends to help him get out of the situation because it is absolutely heart wrenching to see a child suffer in front of you.